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Tazz



REAL NAME: Peter Senercia
5' 8", 245 pounds
BORN: October 11, 1967 in Brooklyn, New York
NICKNAMES: Tazmaniac, Taz, the Human Suplex Machine

He wasn't the first wrestler to go from the ring to the broadcast table, but what started as a part of the Invasion angle has become permanent, and Tazz is now a fixture on Thursday night's Smackdown broadcasts and pay-per-views.

With a high school background that included judo and football, the man who would become Tazz, Peter Senercia, was trained by Johnny Rodz. Tazz began wrestling in 1987, debuting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. During the early months of his career, he was known as Kid Krush and later, the Tasmaniac, wrestling on the independent circuit in the eastern United States.

By 1992, thanks to Kevin Sullivan and Brad Rheingans, he had begun wrestling for Japan's W*INGS and New Japan Pro Wrestling promotions. While wrestling for New Japan, on November 22, 1992, he lost to the Pegasus Kid (Chris Benoit) at the Sumo Hall.

By 1993, he was back in North America where, on January 3rd, he defeated Flex Wheeler to win the New England Cruiserweight Championship. From there, he did a brief stint with Jim Cornette's Smokey Mountain Wrestling organization.

In October 1993, the future Tazz debuted in ECW, where he teamed with Jack Chetti (brother of Chris Chetti) as the Tazmaniacs. After that team folded, Tazz went solo as the Tazmaniac.

Before the year was out, Tazmaniac would be involved in another tag team, this time with Kevin Sullivan. The pair would win the ECW Tag Team Championship twice, defeating Tommy Dreamer and Shane Douglas on December 4, 1993 and the Bruise Brothers on March 5, 1994.

The day after that second reign began (and the same night Sullivan and Tazmaniac would lose the titles to Public Enemy), Tazmaniac defeated Sabu to win the ECW Television Championship, but the title reign didn't survive the night, with Tazmaniac losing to J.T. Smith.

Over the spring and summer of 1994, Tazmaniac tangled with the Pitbulls, enlisting help from Sabu and Jimmy Snuka as well as battling Pitbull #1 in singles matches.

In August 1994, Tazmaniac would be entered in the ECW NWA Title Tournament where he fell in the first round to eventual winner, Shane Douglas. After that, he returned to the tag ranks, teaming most prominently with Sabu. On February 4, 1995, Tazz and Sabu would finally upend Public Enemy to become the ECW Tag Team Champions. but lost them three weeks later to Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko.

Taz's career would be sidetracked by an injury he received during a match against Too Cold Scorpio that put him on the sidelines for several months. When he returned he feuded with UFC veteran Paul Varleans, defeating him at Hardcore Heaven '96.

Meanwhile, a feud between Taz and Sabu was brewing. The feud was built up for nearly a year without the two former tag team partners meeting inside the ring. The pay off was a match at the very first ECW pay-per-view, Barely Legal, on April 13, 1997, where Taz got the win, only to be beaten down by Rob Van Dam and Bill Alphonso, who had been managing Taz to that point.

The war against Sabu continued, but Taz also looked towards another ECW TV title. A second reign as Television Champion began on June 7, 1997, when he defeated Shane Douglas, and would last until March 1st, 1998 when he lost the belt to Bam Bam Bigelow at ECW's Living Dangerously pay-per-view.

Even though he didn't have a recognized ECW Championship any longer, that didn't stop Taz from regarding himself as a champion. In May 1998, he declared himself the FTW (F*** the World) Champion, and even made title defences. In December, Tazz lost the FTW Championship to Sabu in a Triple Threat match that also involved Justin Credible.

1999 started off in a major way for Taz as he defeated Shane Douglas, this time for the ECW World Championship as part of ECW's Guilty as Charged pay-per-view. As ECW Champion, Tazz would again tangle with Sabu, defeating Sabu to retain the ECW World title and regain the FTW Championship in March during Living Dangerously pay-per-view.

After a feud with Chris Candido, Tazz lost the ECW Championship to Mike Awesome in a Triple Threat match (also involving Masato Tanaka) during the Anarchy Rulez pay-per-view.

In September 1999, Taz left ECW and signed with WWE. After several weeks where his logo flashed on the Titantron, Taz (or Tazz as he was renamed) would make his debut at the 2000 Royal Rumble, the mystery opponent for Kurt Angle. Tazz got Angle to submit to the Tazzmission for his first victory in WWE.

Tazz would continue to wrestle for WWE (even briefly holding the Hardcore Championship at Wrestlemania 2000) but would return to ECW to defeat Mike Awesome (who was en route to WCW) to regain the ECW Championship. As ECW Champion, he would face WWE World Champion Triple H on the April 20, 2000 episode of Raw, two days before dropping the ECW title to Tommy Dreamer.

In the summer of 2000, Tazz would feud with Jerry Lawler, as the two battled at SummerSlam and Unforgiven. In the latter match, Tazz received some surprise help from Raven and the two ECW alumni would continue to team, battling the Dudley Boyz and the Hardyz for the WWE Tag Team Championship.

Tazz would spend the spring of 2001 as a trainer for the initial season of Tough Enough. Back in the WWE, after a brief feud with the Right To Censor faction, Tazz joined Paul Heyman's ECW contingent that would later merge with WCW as part of the Alliance that took on WWE's superstars. Although he would frequently run afoul of Alliance member "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Tazz remained a loyal member of the Alliance. During the Invasion angle, Tazz took over commentating duties during Smackdown.

Tazz would frequently battle Tajiri but also took on Maven, Tough Enough's first champion, and fellow trainer Al Snow. As 2001 came to an end, and with the Invasion angle behind him, Tazz began teaming with Spike Dudley.

2002 was only a week old when Tazz and Spike unseated the Dudley Boyz to win the WWE Tag Team Championship, a title they would hold until February 21st, when Billy & Chuck (Chuck Palumbo and Billy Gunn) defeated them to win the titles.

After Spike and Tazz lost the tag titles, Tazz's career began to focus less on in-ring action and more on his commentating duties. As of press time, Tazz continues to work alongside Michael Cole and can be seen on Smackdown, not to mention calling the action on Smackdown pay-per-views.

But Tazz hasn't forgotten where he came from. When Kurt Angle took Tazz to task for his past in ECW, the verbal assault turned physical. Tazz, bandaged from the attack, returned to the ring to reunite with his ECW comrades. During the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view, Tazz joined in the attack on the anti-ECW crusaders, focusing in on Angle, even locking in the Tazzmission, reminiscent of his WWE debut five years prior.

Tazz's in-ring career may be winding down but he has certainly proven himself behind the mic, and so, not unlike Jesse Ventura before him, Tazz has reinvented himself so as to continue to have himself a place in the industry.

- by John M. Milner with files from "Hardcore" Chris Gramlich

TAZZ STORIES

  • May 30, 2005: Tuning into Tazzvision
  • Aug. 5, 2001: Tazz talks: ECW, Tough Enough, WWF
  • June 20, 2001: WWF enters reality TV with 'Tough Enough'
  • April 14, 2000: Tazz wins ECW World title
  • September 13, 1999: Taz bound for WWF?